Well, that happened! A year that will live long in the memory for us all I’m sure. This time last year I remember delicately treading around the B-word, a topic that had dominated our lives, or so it felt. How could we have known that, 5,525 miles away, a deadly virus strain was cultivating that would have such an effect on so many?
I’m sure we all have our reflections on 2020, but most of all I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and still managing to remember all the things to be grateful for as we prepare for an increasingly unusual Christmas.
From a personal perspective the year got off to an eventful start, as my wife Allison and I welcomed our first child into the world.
Imogen Hope was born on the same day we exited Europe and whilst I wouldn’t recommend a new-born in a full national lockdown, she has been a huge source of happiness and balance to all of the craziness this year.
We’re looking forward to our first Christmas together as a family, whatever we end up doing!
From a work perspective, there has been a number of highlights and a number of challenges.
New family members – We’ve had 3 new members of the team settle in to Gen2 life, and all making fantastic contributions and demonstrating the virtues we work so hard on. Becky, Alex and Steve are great additions to the Gen2 family and, like me, are all progressing through their professional qualifications as we always strive to improve.
Sale of OMIS – You may or may not have been aware that we took the very difficult decision to sell our Offshore & Marine business. This was our first acquisition as a group and, whilst it’s not in our make-up to sell any of our business, there were some very real reasons why this particular offer was one that we decided to accept. I’m very proud of how the Gen2 ownership turned around this business in 2 years and found a more suitable home for the staff and the clients to prosper.
Lots of new clients – I’m pleased to say that we’ve managed to add plenty of new clients to our family. Finding new, like-minded clients is so important to us. As an ambitious, young business we have a great story to tell, and we take enormous pride in every new client that trusts us to look after them. If you would be happy to introduce us to any of your personal network of connections, then please drop me a line personally and I would be delighted to engage with them.
Our existing clients – If finding new clients is important to us, then our existing clients are literally our oxygen! We don’t take anyone for granted and, whether you’ve been a client from day one or for one day, we still obsess over the same detail and follow the same processes to keep your programme fresh. We avoid slipping into comfortable ruts. Life changes and we keep a dynamic view on your programme at all times to ensure it’s current and relevant.
Supreme Court – For 95% of UK businesses, their insurance policies did not cover anything COVID-19 related. But for 25 of our Sport clients, we had policies which became the centrepiece of class action litigation and action groups which then turned in to the “FCA Test Case” legal process, which ruled in the High Court and has now been appealed in the Supreme Court. We have been proactive in our involvement with the Action Group, with the FCA and with various legal organisations – all in support of our 25 clients. We have everything crossed for a positive ruling being handed down in January and then we can work through getting our clients the financial support they so desperately need and deserve.
COVID-19 – Has clearly impacted on every UK business and family. Our investment in technology and an agile working culture from day one was sternly put to test and paid us back in spades as we seamlessly adapted to working from home during the pandemic. To not have to worry about our technology and process, like pretty much the rest of the industry did, was a godsend. That said, we have had incredible levels of calls and queries throughout the year to deal with. Whilst unfortunately, as mentioned, the cover wasn’t there for most people, I’m still immensely proud of the team and how we responded and did everything we could for our clients at all times. We exist for these moments of truth – especially the extreme ones — so this was a real test of what we are about, and it’s a real highlight how well we faced up to the challenge.
We all have our hopes for next year. Normality, whatever that might mean, will be top of most people’s Christmas lists I’m sure.
Whatever opportunities lie in wait for you in 2021, make sure we communicate and understand how we can dovetail our support for you. Insurance isn’t always front of mind, but the sooner you can engage with us the quicker and easier it will be to find the right solutions for you. Time is our friend in difficult times, and what we can achieve is significantly increased when we have the luxury of time.
For us, after our first 3 years (yep, that flew by!), we are gearing up for an exciting phase of our development and you can expect some positive changes. We have no desire to be the biggest, but we do need to keep growing strategically so we can keep growing the team and our ability to go further for you. Clients and colleagues are the only groups of people we care about – every decision is made to add value to them and only them. A controlled scaling up will allow us to do just that. Exciting times, so watch this space.
You might have heard the scare stories about a challenging insurance market, and without a doubt we have a harder environment to navigate in the medium term. But when the going gets tough…..! We are seasoned professionals, and we know what a “hard market” is and how to navigate it. We can’t escape it, and we all need to be braced for some challenges, but we will talk to you early and we will work together to find the very best outcome – it’s what we do. (Click HERE for a more detailed look at what this means)
Never has our world made us focus on what we are grateful for to such a degree, but I am grateful for the Gen2 family we have created.
Our clients have been a source of inspiration all year – we have witnessed and been involved in so many stories of resilience, it is genuinely inspiring. We will be with you every step of the way going into 2021 and beyond, and we will not rest until we have done whatever we can do to help make you even more successful.
Likewise, my colleagues are my daily reminder of why I created Gen2. In the struggle, we’ve been there for our clients and each other and are so much stronger for it. I appreciate everything you do and most importantly the way you do it.
Thank you to everyone that has been part of the Gen2 family this year, I appreciate your commitment to our business and the trust you place in us.
From our family to yours, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021. We’re in this together.
FOUNDER & GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Open All Hours
At Gen2 we don’t really do “Christmas Opening Hours” – because we are quite literally ALWAYS here for you.
But in the spirit it’s meant, by all means call the “office” on 0330 056 3665 during business hours and you will be warmly greeted by one of the Gen2 family. Failing that, or for anything out of hours, or of an emergency nature then please contact any of the Directors below –
Jon Nottingham – 0754 551 4010
Paul Masters – 0795 097 8421
Paul Dudley – 0788 772 6136